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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28982
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Six day old chick cant keep its balance,falls over.Chick was

Customer Question

six day old chick cant keep its balance,falls over.Chick was okay when we got her and 7 others.Symptoms started 3rd day.Other chicks are okay.The sick chick eats and drinks okay,with a little help holding her upright.Left side seems to be most effected.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the bird?
Customer: cant keep its balance,falls over
JA: Where does the bird seem to hurt?
Customer: doesn't seem to be hurting
JA: What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: no name ,6 days old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about,?
Customer: eats and drinks okay with some assistance,left side seems to be most effected
JA: What else should I tell the Veterinarian?
Customer: this the only chick out of 8 that has the problem
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with this chick. Avian encephalomyelitis (epidemic tremor) caused by a hepatovirus is most likely at this age. This infection has a worldwide distribution and can occasionally crop up in one or more in a clutch. Birds can recover (~25-50% are lost) but a permanent ataxia ("drunken sailor") can arise and some go on to develop cataracts and blindness. Other important differential diagnoses include encephalomalacia resulting from vitamin E deficiency (uncommon with the improved starter diets nowadays), paromxyovirus, and the equine encephalitises and West Nile virus and any number of bacterial infections involving the central nervous system. Only bacterial infections are treatable although impractical in a large operation.

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